Packing starts today… Monday, Feb 24 2014 

Well, the process is wrapping up, at least this part.
We start putting stuff in boxes and migrating it all to the garage.
Truck to the storage unit is Wednesday…air mattresses Wednesday night and Thursday night, act of sale Friday.
It’s hitting each of us, in our own way, these are our final moments in our beloved house…
The house we built
The house we decorated
The house we love as part of us

It hurts a little

Our next chapter is going to be just as interesting…
We hope the new owners, when they walk in on Friday understand what this house is, not just property, it is part of the family.
We have discussed the upcoming change with her. She is strong, she is healthy, she is sad, she is ready to embrace and protect her new family, to host friends, to throw parties, to ward off the winds and rain and heat and cold.

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This was (a) Good Friday Monday, Apr 1 2013 

A couple of weeks have passed, and little progress made, or so it would seem on the surface. Especially if one’s only view is through this blog. Truth is, we have been stacked! Kids are wrapping up 10 days off school today, headed back for the sprint to summer bright and early Tuesday.

We took the opportunity on Friday for an impromptu trip to the City on Good Friday. We had a great time, saw all sorts of things. We apparently were not the only ones, as the entire city seemed packed with people. New Orleans is such a vibrant city. While walking through the French Quarter we saw lots of different people. Different Religions, Different Nationalities, Different Orientations, Different Socio-Economic states. Kate saw lots of pan handlers, beggars, gutter punks and what not. We spent a fair amount of time Friday night having conversations about what she had seen. As a parent, it was a trying time. The Dichotomy of wanting to have this discussion with a growing child wrested with the desire to protect her from the ways of the world. I can’t say it was painful, but it was difficult.

Erika and I are blessed that we have 2, mature beyond their years, children. We are also blessed that we have the security of wonderful home to retreat to. The lesson, beautifully wrapped up at 11:55pm Friday night. God loves us as humans. God loves all humans. God’s love is unconditional. God may not like us, individually or corporately, sometimes. But God loves us ALWAYS. Likewise, Erika and I love our children. Nothing can change that. Kate and Ian may do or say things that we may not like, but we will always love them. Further, other people may do or say things we do not like, but we love them as people. We may not be able to provide help for everyone and God does not expect us to. That does not mean God will not love us, or that God does not love them. Sometimes the things we think will help, may in fact hurt other people in the long run.

Kate is a smart girl. She, like all of us is hurt seeing others in need. She like all of us wants to help. Her heart hurts for those who need help. She is learning that our choices, everyday have consequences. Sometimes they are positive, sometimes they are negative. Some choices lead to a healthy life, other choices lead to addiction, homelessness, hunger. Some choices we have control over, while other choices we have little control over. The best we can do is make wise choices when we can. When we do not make the wisest choices, we need to recognize it and learn from those poor choices.

Our love for our children is unwavering, it is unconditional. God’s love for his children is unwavering, it is unconditional.

Fajita Rub Friday, Mar 22 2013 

Erika made this earlier…smells so good!!!
Maybe she will update this with a recipe, if you ask nicely…

Dawgs Sunday, Mar 17 2013 

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The dawgs are loving spring time at la Maison du Rustre

Erika’s handy work Saturday, Mar 16 2013 

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So much yumminess!

Saturday, Mar 16 2013 

dusk
Another wonderful day at La Maison du Rustre. Erika is preparring some sliders on the grill and some homemade fries on the stove. I am blessed to be able to sit outside and listen to the sounds of Dusk in March, and Ian and Max playing in the house.

Weekend projects Thursday, Feb 28 2013 

This weekend is going to be another full one.  In no particular order
1. The lawn needs cut.
2. The garage needs cleared.
3. The study needs cleaned.
4. The front yard needs some landscaping.
5. We need to build some bins for the pantry, and our new console in the dining room.
6. We need to clean the house.
7. We need to clear the backyard.
8. We need to get some pavers for the backyard.
9. We need to get a cover for the Grill.
10. Wash the dawgs.
11. Check into auger/post hole digger rental for installing fence posts.

Oh there’s more, but for now I hope to get all of that done. Luckily there’s no Arsenal Match until Sunday morning, so I should have much of this list done and dusted before then. I will have Erika around to help me and to document some of the projects: the yard, the study, the bins, maybe even the Pavers.
Speaking of the Pavers, I am foregoing my master plan for the backyard for now, and simply laying some pavers out atop some of the grass for now…I may get ambitious and clear some of the grass and lay some leveling sand, we’ll see. Our master plan for the back yard involves an outdoor kitchen and dining room aside from the patio that will be the outdoor living room. We are so blessed to live where we can enjoy the outside for most all of the year; heck, I am cutting the grass on March 1st, probably should have on February 1st.
Outdoor kitchen will have the built in Grill, counter space for stuff, cabinets and shelving for keeping stuff, a cooler to keep stuff cool in, a bar to sit at with stools, a pergola over the whole thing. The Outdoor Dining Room will similarly have a pergola over head, a table and chairs and benches, and landscaping to tie all of it together.
For now, tread water and keep it all in check. We’ll work towards all of that stuff, until then, knock off one thing from the list and move on to the next.
Check back for updates. Erika slept well last night so maybe she’ll get a jump on the list today 😉

Mud Room Progress Tuesday, Feb 26 2013 

Well, maybe Erika can post a picture of our mud room bench.  Erika’s Mom gifted us some money to go buy a storage bench for the Hall, and so we shopped around for one.  Our a) being good Shepards of Nancy and Sal’s Generosity and b) inability to make a decision and stick with it contributed to it taking longer than expected to get one picked out and errected.

Hopefully Erika can post a picture of it for everyone to see.  Our next thing for the mudroom, I think we have the budget for it, is to make a shelving and coat hook unit for the wall above the bench.  Add a basket for umbrellas and some art on the wall and we should be golden.

Our ‘Mud Room’ is really a hall between the garage and the Kitchen.  Off it are the pantry, a 1/2 bath, the Laundry Room, and a coat closet.  It also has a cabinet above a built-in desk that has become the accumulator of all things random; from candy to mail to random papers to tools and tape.  The Dawgs also get their gourmet, pronounced gore-met, water and food in there.  Erika picked up an awesome bin for the dog food.  We can get a ginormous bag of Iams from Sams or Target or Winn-Dixie and dump the whole thing in there.  it came with a lid and a scoop!  Maybe Erika will get a picture of that too and upload it for some of you to see…

All in all the Mud Room may become our first ‘done’ room if we can just keep the built in desk clean long enough to take a picture. Oh and put up some art work too…

First Project Thoughts Tuesday, Feb 26 2013 

Erika really knocked this first little project out of the park.  I knew she had it in her, yet she still had to get it done, and she did.  We spent a fair amount of time last night contemplating our next projects.  Erika still has to make some storage bins for the shelf.  And decorate the thing with a lamp and some other trinkety type things. 

So what is next?  We have not really decided.  There is so much to do.  We are working our way up to some far more complex projects like a Loft Bed for the girl child, which we have grand designs for, and maybe tackling a fence for the back yard, and maybe an outdoor kitchen and outdoor dining room.  All in all alot of huge projects in the works, but before that we have to clean up the Study, the ‘Mud Room’ and the Garage.  In case you missed it in one of the pics, our Garage is a) a mess and b) seriously lacking workbenches and storage and whatnot for us to do our projects.  So, I think my plan for this week/end is to clean up the Garage and the Study.

Don’t look now, but Monday, Jan 7 2013 

it’s 8:00 and the kids have put themselves to bed. Turned off the TV, turned off the lights in the living room, and went, each to their own room. Every once in a while the routine we’ve worked into them kicks in, and they do this, and it is soooooooo nice.
I am not watching the BCS National Championchip (sp?). I just can’t bring myself to cheer for either of them. Quite frankly, I would be happiest if both teams could move the ball freely between the 35 yard lines, and niether teams kickers could actually hit the broad side of a barn. An entire game of lock down defense and bumbling idiots right at the 35 yard line.
Anyway, Erika and I are planning our Honeymoon. It’s looking more and more like a summertime trip rather than a Spring Trip at this point. There is still a chance we can pull it off, but we have so much happening this spring already. Taking hte trip would be easy, it’s everything that has to happen before then that will make it impossible, I think.
We still haven’t had anymore land fowl since the gaggle of wild turkeys wandered through a couple of weeks ago. The dogs go racing out the back door everyday and spend far too much time sniffing around and ‘hunting’. These 2 dogs whould not know what to do if they got a hold of a land fowl. Heck they would probably chase up to them, then Max would lay down, roll over and cower if anything so much as looked at him funny.
So it’s after 8 on a monday eveing, and as soon as the reports are uploaded and tested, I am going to bed. As for Erika, I don’t know. Maybe she’ll post something later.

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